Posted by: atowhee | July 24, 2019


Today marked an important change in the real world.  Today I was able to pick and eat fresh blackberries for the first time. Blackberry thickets line the riverside forest along the edge of Joe Dancer Park, out of the reach of plow, mower and truck.  It is no accident that I also saw a trio of waxwings in the vicinity.  I think they like berries as much as I do…and Nora, she may be the most berry-prone boxer/lab on the planet.  When she begins to nose around and smell that they are ripe, she will stomp here feet until I pick her some to eat.  She will not go near with her sensitive nose.  She’s had her run-in with berry briers, never again.

These berries are tart but the sugar levels have risen above the reflexive pucker level so they can be eaten with pleasure, and will be.  I know these plants are not favored by landscapers, native plant friends or even grass mowers.  But they do persist and as the climate worsens we may be happy to have such hardy plants that will last as long as there is moderate rain.  If the park department stopped mowing and spraying the soccer fields for a couple years I have little doubt the blackberries would be among the most prolific and earliest of the perennials to colonize.BERREZ (2)

The garden feeders are chickadee central these days…we get up to four Chestnut-backed at a time and have at least two Black-caps that are here year round. These images show a chestnut-backed, they have a pale, clear chest while the black-caps have dark smudge on their upper chest.

Bushtits are all  gang members, rarely seen alone:

Finchley.  Note the brightly colored adult male who’s got his carotene on board. The little ones are a pair of Lesser Goldfinches.  Plus a pair of curious crows.

At Joe Dancer today I was able to find a female Common Yellowthroat, indicating they may be breeding there.

The garter snake was at Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro.  The nuthatch and flicker were in our garden.  I like profile shots that show the stiff, spikey tail feathers of woodpeckers let help them hike themselves up vertical tree trunks and utility poles

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